What are the Beasts of the Southern Wild?

Review of Beasts of the Southern Wild, Directed by Benh Zeitlin By KENDRICK KUO Beasts of the Southern Wild has taken top prizes at Sundance and Cannes and has now racked up nominations at the Oscars. The talk of the town is Quvenzhané Wallis. A six year old at the time of filming, and now [Read More...]

In Alexander’s Footsteps

Review of Into the Land of Bones: Alexander the Great in Afghanistan by Frank L. Holt By COYLE NEAL If you are not familiar with Frank Holt, I’m not terribly surprised. In one sense he is an obscure academic working in an obscure corner of academia. Specifically, he is an expert in Central Asian numismatics—the [Read More...]

Happiness may be a warm blanket, but Justice is a Bullet to the Head

Review of Bullet to the Head, Directed by Walter Hill By COYLE NEAL This movie is a combination of the original graphic novel and all previous Stallone movies (except possibly that soccer one). And… I don’t actually think I’m exaggerating much. In addition to the cameo photograph from the Rambo series, the plot is basically an [Read More...]

Are We Stand Up Guys?

Review of Stand Up Guys, Directed by Fisher Stevens By KENDRICK KUO What makes a stand up guy? Friendships between three retired gangsters tries to answer this question in the just-released Stand Up Guys starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin. After 28 years in prison, Val (Pacino) has finally served his time and [Read More...]

Big Trouble in Little China: Tina Turner Was Wrong–We DO Need Another Hero

Review of Big Trouble in Little China, directed by John Carpenter By ALEXIS NEAL Jack Burton is nobody special. He’s just your average red-blooded American—a loudmouth truckdriver with a gambling habit and a knack for getting into trouble. When his friend Wang’s fiancée Miao Yin is kidnapped by sex traffickers, Jack agrees to help get [Read More...]

Book of the Dun Cow

Review of Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin, Jr. By KENDRICK KUO Aesop’s fables, Narnia, and Animal Farm, all rolled into one, would produce something similar to Book of the Dun Cow (1978), although Dun Cow is in a league of its own. The book won the the National Book Award (1980), to [Read More...]

Slaughterhouse-Five

Review of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut By COYLE NEAL Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time. That is, he does not live from second to second as most of us do, but instead jumps to the future, and then back to the past, and then again to the present (whatever that means—it can be hard [Read More...]

In Defense of Burning Witches

Review of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Directed by Tommy Wirkola By COYLE NEAL Deep in the woods of Germany, a sinister plot is brewing—and the brew will be seasoned with twelve kidnapped children from nearby Augsburg. Enter Hansel and Gretel: orphans, siblings, and professional witch hunters hired by the city to rescue the children. [Read More...]

Searching for Forgiveness in The Words

Review of The Words, Directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal By KENDRICK KUO The Words is almost more a parable than a movie. The film has three interlayered stories—Clayton Hammond is an author who writes The Words, a book about Rory Jensen who finds an old book manuscript and decides to publish it as [Read More...]

Jesus Makes You Smarter

Review of Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling, by James W. Sire By PAUL D. MILLER A colleague once asked me what makes a good analyst. I thought for a while, and answered “humility, courage, and integrity.” My colleague was surprised, having expected me to answer “a masters degree, high scores [Read More...]

Les Miserable, a second take

Review of Les Miserables, Directed by Tom Hooper By COYLE NEAL “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” Luke 17:33 I went into Les Miserables without having read the book or seen the musical or previous film adaptations (though I have read The [Read More...]

Christian Scholarship Doesn’t Have to be About Christianity

Excellence:  The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue, by Andreas J. Kostenberger By Justin Hawkins Andreas J. Kostenberger’s position at the top of evangelical Biblical scholarship affords him a particularly privileged vantage point to comment on the challenges and joys of the Christian scholarly task.  Yet his Excellence: The Character of God [Read More...]

Screwtape Redux

Review of Operation Screwtape by Andrew Farley By COYLE NEAL This book probably needs no summarization. If you are any kind of literate Christian, you’ve probably been at least indirectly exposed to C.S. Lewis’ masterpiece The Screwtape Letters. Andrew Farley has updated Lewis’ work to meet the needs of the 21st century by providing this [Read More...]

Middle Earth is Inherited by the Meek

A Review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Directed by Peter Jackson By KENDRICK KUO After hearing the good reviews, including our very own Paul Miller’s take on the film, I decided to watch The Hobbit on New Year’s Day. There are many ways to review a film adaptation of a book—fidelity to the book’s [Read More...]


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